Opportunity Speaks

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(William J. Lampton, in “Success.”)

I am Opportunity;
But say, young man,
Don’t wait for me
To come to you;
You buckle down
To win your crown,
and work with head
And heart and hands,
As does the man
Who understands
That those who wait,
Expecting some reward from fate —
Or luck, to call it so —
Sit always in the way-back row.
And yet
You must not let
Me get away when I show up.
The golden cup
Is not for him who stands,
With folded hands,
Expecting me
To serve his inactivity.
I serve the active mind,
The seeing eye,
The ready hand
That grasps me passing by,
And takes from me
The good I hold
For every spirit
Strong and bold.
He does not wait
On fate
Who seizes me,
For I am fortune,
Luck, and fate,
The corner stone of what is great
In man’s accomplishment.
But I am none of these
To him who does not seize;
I must be caught,
If any good is wrought
Out of the treasures I possess.
Oh, yes,
I’m Opportunity;
I’m great;
I’m sometimes late,
But do not wait
For me;
Work on,
Watch on,
Good hands, good heart,
And some day you will see —
Out of your effort rising, —

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Mar 23, 1904

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